Don’t you ladies hate when you get home from work to see that your husband didnt go to the grocery store like you asked? When asked why, his response, “I thought I would wait for you.” I immediately kick back with, “REALLY?!?!? I have been working all day! You couldn’t do this one thing??? SERIOUSLY??” Now, let me say this, I don’t want to sound like I am complaining about my husband nor do I want to sound boastful, but I am very fortunate to have a husband who cooks, cleans, and keeps me organized. I have actually admired him from around the corner while he sets my sons clothes out for school the next day. I, like most women, get caught up in those selfish moments when I forget that maybe my husband just wants to run a household errand with me. Why is it so easy to jump to a negative assumption about their intentions when we have no idea what they are thinking? I don’t know about you ladies, but it’s hard enough trying to examine what my own emotional female brain is thinking, much less his male brain.
Over Thanksgiving break, while my husband was at work and my son was visiting family, I hosted a “home retreat” for myself. I wanted to start doing an in depth study of the book of Romans and get some writing done without distractions. So, I brought all of my electronics, especially my phone, to my friend across town, and left them with her for 3 days. During my study, I learned about a couple, Aquilla and Priscilla, who worked with Paul. The more I learned about them in their character profiles through my study bible, I had so many “Aha!” moments regarding my own relationship and how appreciative I need be!
Isn’t it horrible how quick we can stop appreciating the things that we once begged for??
My Life Application Study Bible (you can find the information below) mentions how Aquilla and Priscilla were never mentioned seperately from each other. This couple apparently did everything together, especially in reference to the pursuit of spiritual education. To me, they sounded like the biblical example of the perfect couple! My flawed envious spirit momentarily wanted exactly what they had. Then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t help but snicker, because I had forgotten to appreciate the gift in something as simple as a grocery run with my husband. The sad part….as I thought about how selfish I can be sometimes, I was reminded of a lonely time in my life where I cried myself to sleep and prayed that God would send someone to me to do things, like grocery shop, with. Isn’t it horrible how quick we can stop appreciating the things that we once begged for??
There have been times where I have gotten caught up in complaining because my husband and I are SO different. I am a free spirited social butterfly and he is a calculated and logical introvert. I love to hike and camp in the wilderness, and he likes the idea of resorts and fine dining. His ideas of a perfect vacation include walking and shopping while mine include making mango salsa in a jungalow without makeup and clothes. I remember how boring life felt when we were a year into our relationship. It hit me that we, seriously, had nothing in common. At the time, it was easy to forget what had attracted me to him in the first place, which was his level of responsibility, not his likeness to go tent camping for a week. Granted, if I were to ask God which of these qualities are more important in a significant other, I would bet He’d say, “Girl, my standards for you is a man of responsibility and character.”
The part about Aquilla and Priscilla that I loved the most is that they used their own home for evangelism. They didn’t set out to eagerly build an empire like modern day couples do. They made their income as tentmakers but built their lives around ministry together. They didn’t need lavish lifestyles to prove the competency of their ministry. How amazing and peaceful does this sound?
I lost track of my family, my self and God along the way….all in the name of “success.”
When the idea of their simple, Christ led life sat on my heart, I sighed. 3 years ago, I opened a hair salon with the hopes that business would explode and I would, finally, be successful in my industry. I named it, L’eau De Vie Salone, which means “Water of life.” Not long after I came up with its name, I attended a women’s conference, where I was, first, saved. It was there that I read John 4:14, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” From that moment on, I said that my busines will be a place where we will work with a servant’s heart. My water, I thought, would be serving others in His name.
My business grew faster than I could keep up with as a one person business owner. I got so overwhelmed that it bacame impossible to stay grounded. I stopped going to church. I lost the meaning of the word, “no.” I put my family, especially my son, on the backburner to slave over the approval of the public so that people would want to return. It didn’t feel like success. It felt selfish and vain. And with the rise of the term, “selfie,” I began to feel less like a person who enjoyed serving others and more like a disposable means to shallow. The more people demanded perfection from me, the more resentful I became, and the less energy and love I had available to work with a servants heart. I lost my family, my self and God along the way.. all in the name of “success.” Have you ever met a person like that? They aren’t fun to be around. The interesting thing about being saved, is that now I can look back on my life and pinpoint every single time God has brought me back to His reach. Just like a shephard does when one sheep out of the 100 strays…. He leaves the 99 to retrieve it!
I was completely unaware that I would find myself and God in that dirt.
As I sit here thinking about the ministry work done through Aquilla and Priscilla’s home, I look out the bay window of my dining room into my back yard where I see the garden that saved my soul. It is the place where I spent months, barefooted, tilling and preparing soil for seeds that would eventually blossom into the most beautiful variety of flowers and colors. I was completely unaware that I would find myself and God in that dirt. Yet, here we are, almost 2 years later, and every plant planted, with the exception of one stubborn spot, has bloomed. Today, sitting a few yards away from that garden, is a canary yellow shed with white trim and a soft blue door, and windows on every wall that will soon be the Secret Garden Bungalow where I can finally lay my worries to rest and devote my life to a more Christ centered work with an unwavering servant’s heart.
The moral of this story is that we can learn a lot from Aquilla and Priscilla. As my bible reminded me, “God does not want us to focus on what is happening between a husband and wife, but what is being achieved through them.” He does not want us to put focus on the material contents of our homes together, as much as how we use our home to glorify Him. He does not expect every couple to become church leaders, but to grow in their spiritual education together, which will result in a deeper level of intimacy. So, ladies, maybe it begins with late night grocery store runs after work. Let’s use that time to build a very important part of God’s kingdom, instead of beating our husband’s up over it. Let’s invest in our lives, at home first, with our husband’s to become living testimonies of God’s power in us!
Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for trusting Jacques as the leader of our home. I am forever grateful for his kind heart and willingness to follow in Your example. I thank you for our home, which I will now use to serve Your name. I ask that you remove all my selfish tendencies so that I have ample opportunity to grow in my faith with my husband by serving on Your behalf.
In your name I pray. Amen.
***P.S. The study bible that I use regularly is the New Living Translation Life Application Sudy Bible by Tyndale House Publishers. It is absolutely amazing!
Sweet child, live free.